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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Custody Detah in Norfolk County

Case Number: 08-PCD-115

TORONTO (18 February, 2009) --- Four investigators and two forensic investigators from the SIU probed the circumstances of this occurrence.

On Monday June 23, 2008 at 10:30 a.m. members of the OPP responded to a call in the area of Front Street and Fishers Glen Road, Norfolk about a man, later identified as Jeffrey Mark Marreel, in the area exhibiting erratic and violent behaviour. Neighbours had observed Mr. Marreel with a steel step in his hands, which Mr. Marreel was using in a threatening fashion and to inflict harm upon himself.

When the first officer arrived Mr. Marreel reacted by threatening the officer physically and verbally. The officer attempted via his cruiser's loudspeaker to communicate with Mr. Marreel in an effort to have Mr. Marreel drop the steel step. Mr. Marreel did not comply; instead, he persisted to threaten the officer with violence, and tossed a piece of metal at the officer's cruiser. Mr. Marreel continued to harm himself and damage various objects in the area, including trees, a stop sign, and a telephone junction box. For his own safety the officer decided to wait until additional officers arrived. He followed Mr. Marreel to the intersection of Front Road and Fishers Glen Road.

Two other officers arrived at the scene and at this time the decision was made to arrest Mr. Marreel. The officers circled Mr. Marreel and started to move in on him. Mr. Marreel was ordered to drop the steel step and get down on the ground. Mr. Marreel dropped the step. Mr. Marreel was again ordered to lie face down on the ground. Mr. Marreel did not do so. A struggle ensued as the officers reached Mr. Marreel and force was used by the officers to eventually subdue and handcuff him.

Mr. Marreel was taken to the OPP office in Simcoe. At the police station Mr. Marreel went into medical distress, whereupon he was transported to Norfolk General Hospital by ambulance. Mr. Marreel later died in hospital of acute cocaine poisoning.

Director Scott said, "I am satisfied that the officers were proceeding lawfully to arrest Mr. Marreel on a number of grounds, namely, cause disturbance, uttering threats and assault with a weapon. Section 25 of the Criminal Code authorizes the use of reasonably necessary force by police officers in the discharge of their lawful duties. The evidence collected by the SIU in my view establishes that the officers' use of force fell within the latitude authorized by the criminal law as being no more than was reasonably necessary to overcome Mr. Marreel's violence and effect his arrest."

The SIU is an arm’s length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault. Under the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU must

  • consider whether an officer has committed a criminal offence  in connection with the incident under investigation
  • depending on the evidence, lay a criminal charge against the officer if appropriate or close the file without any charges being laid
  • report the results of any investigations to the Attorney General. 

Monica Hudon, monica.hudon@ontario.ca
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342